Horizon releases in 2012 from developer Playground Games.
you’re a fervent fan of Microsoft’s exclusive racers, that last sentence will shock
you for several reasons. First… Forza “Horizon”? As the title suggests, this is
not Forza Motorsport 5, the next official entry in the series, but an offshoot or
companion title of some kind. Exactly what
kind is still unknown at this stage, as the announcement trailer is the very
definition of vague.
The second surprise is the release date. Since the franchise debuted in 2005,
it’s followed a predictable schedule of one new game every two years: Forza 2
in 2007, Forza 3 in 2009 and Forza 4 in 2011. How is developer Turn 10 readying
Horizon for this year if they’re also working on Forza 5 for next year?
Forza Horizon is the first creation of newly formed British developer
Playground Games and not from Turn 10 at all, similar to how Black Ops and
World at War are from Treyarch and not original Call of Duty developer Infinity
Ward. While that annual switch has always seemed like something publisher
Activision forces on the shooter franchise for business purposes, Turn 10
creative director Dan Greenawalt sounded positive about the Forza handoff at a
recent Microsoft event, referring to Playground Games as a “super group” of racing
experts culled from recently closed companies known for success in the genre,
like Bizarre Creations and Black Rock.
no – we can read your mind on this one – Forza Horizon isn’t the spiritual continuation of Bizarre’s flagship racing
series, Project Gotham Racing. Greenawalt insists it’s still Forza, just not
the same Forza a numbered installment would imply.
Also revealed on the Forza front today? The long-awaited return of Porsche
vehicles to the series, via expansion DLC arriving in May. That’s the new
Porsche 911 pictured above.
Did you spot any hints at Forza Horizon’s direction in the trailer
above? Are you excited for an extra entry, or worried Microsoft will spread the
series too thinly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.